2019-20 School Year Marks Big Changes for GCPS

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-Press Release, Granville County Public Schools

Another school year has come and gone, and a new one awaits for the students of Granville County!  We are open for business and accepting enrollments at all schools! We have so many different educational environments, programs and instructional models; any family can find the right fit with us.

In addition to the academic achievement of students, this year’s main focus for our Board of Education and Administration will continue to be on the safety, health and welfare of our children.

In partnership with our County Commissioners, the Sheriff’s Department and the Creedmoor Police Department, the strong School Resource Officer presence in our schools will continue. Efforts to improve the physical security of our campuses also continues with new video surveillance systems, new perimeter fencing, new locks and entryways, along with increased safety training for all staff.

Air quality monitoring continues, with every school being tested by an outside independent laboratory, with results posted to each school’s website for public review.

Anti-bullying and anti-drug, alcohol and tobacco campaigns will be in full effect this school year as well.

A new mobile app will provide students, parents and staff tools for communication concerns related to the well-being and emotional health of our school communities. We will continue to support the social-emotional learning of students through our social worker, counselors and our new Parent University.

You would be correct in thinking that school begins in August – but not for everyone!  In fact, three of our campuses have already started school!  They operate on a dual-calendar, offering both a traditional and ‘year-round’ option to families.

West Oxford Elementary, Butner-Stem Elementary and Butner-Stem Middle School all provide families a modified school calendar in which students avoid the long summer break. While the total number of school days doesn’t change, the vacation time is split up during the whole year, after every 9 weeks of school. More than 350 of our students had their first day back on Monday, July 15!  No summer slide for them!

There is lots in store at other schools across the district this year. Granville Academy is beginning its second year, offering a blended online and face-to-face model for students K-12. The first school of its kind in the state, these students physically attend school only two days a week and receive instruction virtually the other part of their schedule. This is a fantastic option for families who have unique situations, or for those parents who want to be intimately involved in their student’s schooling.

Many home school families, in both our county and surrounding counties, have been flocking to this innovative and non-traditional model.  Early indications show high levels of academic success for the students participating, and other school districts from across the state are inquiring how they can duplicate our home-grown model.

Three other schools are undergoing significant transformations as well. JF Webb High School is busy planning for the merger of the School of Health and Life Sciences in 2020-21. All of the current Biomedical Science courses offered through JFW HLS will continue, with plans for expanded offerings in Career and Technical Education programs, as well as college-level courses offered through VGCC.

Under the leadership of Principal Rice, not only are academics getting an overhaul, but the school itself is also receiving significant facility upgrades, which will go nicely with the improved mascot logo, boasting that Warrior Pride!

Northern Granville Middle School is full of activity in preparation for the merger with Mary Potter Middle School this fall.  The added enrollment helps boost the number and variety of elective course offerings for all students, which will now include Spanish, Art, Music, Chorus, Agriculture Education, Technology Education, a NEW Minecraft Coding and Video Game Design class, and PE.  Principal Williamson is also planning a wide range of clubs and other enrichment activities for students beyond the regular curriculum.  Exciting times to be a Knight!

Stovall Shaw Elementary is also buzzing with activity this summer in preparations for the merger of students from Joe Toler Oak Hill Elementary. In addition to the new classrooms, instructional programs and electives being planned by Principal McGhee, the school also continues its theme of “Healthy Active Students,” providing a focus on the physical and emotional well-being of students.

Also worth noting are improvements to the entire entrance/drive/parking area of the school, which is being completely redone.  This much-needed upgrade will help ease congestion and traffic concerns, providing a safer experience for all when visiting the school.

Lots of other exciting opportunities are expanding and evolving at schools across the district as well. Mt Energy is entering their second year as a “School of Character,” providing an environment that focuses on leadership and giving back to the community.

Wilton Elementary School continues to offer “The Leader in Me” program, for which they received statewide recognition last year.

West Oxford Elementary School offers the “Global Focus” program, giving students a taste of world cultures and experiences, expanding their perspectives of the world.

CG Credle Elementary offers the “Leadership and Wellness” program, and Granville Central High School continues to offer its focus on STEM-related electives for all students through advanced college-level coursework.

GC Hawley Middle School marches forward with an impressive offering of elective and advanced courses for their students, and Early College keeps pushing the bar higher each year by offering DUAL degrees (high school diplomas AND an Associate’s Degree) to their students.

South Granville High School receives much-needed facility upgrades and delivers that special “Viking” experience to students, leading the way in athletic championships and club activities.

Creedmoor Elementary School of the Arts and Tar River Elementary School round out the offerings with special instructional programs to foster creativity and leadership respectively, meeting the needs and interests of diverse learners.

For all of our newest elementary students, be sure to mark your calendars for an all-day, special Kindergarten Kick-Off at the Granville Athletic Park on July 30. Lots of fun planned for families, along with helpful information and registration forms available!

Finally, efforts continue district-wide to ensure we have the best possible staff in every classroom and in every position across the district. Professional development for all staff will continue to focus on personalized learning and student engagement, making sure that students are invested in their schooling, and are motivated and see value in what they learn.

Recruiting talent also remains a top priority, and the district looks forward to the warm welcome given to our new teachers in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce this August.

Superintendent Alisa McLean offered her thoughts on the direction of the school district, explaining, “Our commitment to the whole child and their quality of educational experience in GCPS – from the environment in which they learn to the individuals from whom they learn; it is ALL important. As such, there is a great deal of work occurring this summer to train, align, clean up, fix, repair, install and simply do what is necessary to ensure Granville County Public Schools is not one of the best but is THE best academic choice for families in our community. Options are contemporary and available; and moreover, our educators are second to none. The Board of Education and I are truly devoted to our motto of being ‘Committed to Excellence and Achievement for All!’”

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